15:18 GMT04 August 2020
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    More than a year ago US President Barack Obama announced that Washington launched a new strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

    That was a four-step plan that among others included a systemic campaign of airstrikes, more counterterrorism measures and increased support to forces fighting ISIL in the region.

    However, according to former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz, Obama’s strategy has now completely fallen into ruins.

    In his latest op-ed article titled “What now? How to deal with the utter collapse of Obama’s Syria-Iraq strategy?”  Fleitz states that Obama’s strategy has failed so quickly, because it has actually been “a non-strategy”.

    In other words, the author explains, the US President chose to do as little as possible about the crisis, so he could hand this mess to a future president.

    And even if Obama wanted to change his approach now, Russia’s recent involvement in the Syrian conflict have left him with fewer chances to do so.

    Fred Fleitz, author of the report, the former CIA analyst and senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, spoke to Sputnik in an exclusive interview.

    “First of all I think the president underestimated the seriousness of the situation. He never recognized ISIL as a worldwide global threat. Obama also wanted to be the anti-Bush who did not get the United States in new military conflict. It has really tied his hands.”

    The analyst went on to say that Obama came up with the policy to fight ISIL only after videos of Americans being beheaded by the militants were seen. He wanted to be seen doing something where in reality he was doing as little as possible.

    According to him there was a tight restriction stopping the US army from taking more concrete action against ISIL. He called it “a non-strategy.” He also mentioned that he feels that Obama’s views have a radical bend in its philosophy.

    Talking about Russia’s fight in Syria against terrorism, Fleitz said, “I think it is a game changer as Russia is filling a vacuum created by the non-policy of the US.”

    Fleitz further talked about Russia’s action in Syria and what implications will this have on the future of the Middle East.

    The US foreign policy changes every three to four years. It is hard to maintain a relationship with the US because new people come into the office and there is yet again a policy change. The countries that were US allies either get their funding cut or stop being considered US allies.

    Talking about such US policy inside the Middle East and it having an effect on foreign policy, the analyst said, “There have been significant problems in the transition between Bush and Obama administration. I would like to see more consistent transition in US foreign policy between the administrations otherwise we will have problems.”

    He goes on to discuss the repercussions of the US’ bad policy and the future of Russia and the US relations.


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    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Daesh, Islamist militants, global threat, foreign policy, strategy, Barack Obama, Iraq, Syria
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